Suzi's Blog

Classic Hot Dog Chili Sauce from Haute Dog by Russell Van Kraayenburg


For many of us, a “hot dog” really means “chili hog dog.” In Haute Dog, Russell Van Kraayenburg offers dozens of hot dog recipes, from both the United States and around the world. The US versions are often slathered in chili sauce. I have fond memories of Roakes in Portland, Oregon, and I’m always in search of a way to duplicate that secret recipe.

I have not tested this recipe, yet, or its variations that Russell discusses. But below is Russell’s well considered recipe for Classic Hot Dog Chili. It’s a basic recipe that can be transformed into any of the 8 varieties of chili sauce presented in Haute Dog. I invite you to look at the book for the specific details of these variations:

  • Greek: no cumin or cayenne, but with oregano, cinnamon and allspice
  • Coney Island: no cumin or cayenne, instead yellow mustard and tomato sauce instead of paste
  • Rhode Island: adding ground mustard and celery salt
  • Rochester: ground mustard and paprika added
  • District: ground mustard, coriander, a bay leaf, and vinegar

I compared Russell’s basic recipe with others and they all share the same basic ingredients, but, to his advantage, Russell wisely uses real garlic and onion instead of the onion and garlic powders that frequent many recipes. He’s making this chili from scratch and that can only benefit us. Besides this basic recipe, I’ll be trying the variations above, looking for a particularly great taste and perhaps something close to Roakes.

Your childhood memory may be stirred here, recognizing the flavor sparks that mustard or paprika or vinegar added to those neighborhood dogs you grew up with.

My experiments begin this week, and I will report in. One note, Russell says this recipe produces 1 quart of sauce, enough for 4 hot dogs. That’s one cup of sauce per dog. I interpret that as a forewarning, if not proof beyond a reasonable doubt,  that he is a hot dog extremist.


Classic Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Yield: 1 quart of sauce [can be frozen]


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili power
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 8 ounces tomato paste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin cayenne, and beef. Cook until beef is browned and no trace of pink remains.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add beef stock and tomato paste. Stir until evenly combined. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Source: Haute Dog by Russell Van Kraayenburg



Power Breakfast: Mexican Style

Editted IMG_7023



Power. Our lives revolve around power. Not the Con Ed power. The power of people, organizations and nations. Our lives are shaped by power and we endlessly debate and classify power: economic, military, cultural, ….

You can read or hear the debates about American power. We are dead, we will rise again, we are doomed by China, Putin is rational for a guy running a third rate country but is only a thorn in our side. I read and I listen. The problems now are different yet the portrayals of rise or fall have been with us through our history. I no longer panic. And, actually, instead I have become rather mellow. For I have learned which country is the most powerful. At least until 10 AM.

It’s Mexico. Because Mexican breakfasts are singularly the best. Thank about your American breakfast, that brownish mélange. Toast, bagels, muffins, oatmeal, cereal, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs…. There’s brown in every bite. Yum. How inspiring.

Now, look at that picture above of Huevos Oaxaqueños. Imagine starting your day with this blast of color and flavor. All that is missing is a mariachi band. Veggies, cheese, chilies, eggs and more are combined here in calculated abandon. Most importantly, this recipe is quite robust. Suzen had a basket of purple tomatillos which where chopped and added to the morning march. You, too, should take whatever liberties your kitchen counter and refrigerator offer.

I’m not a breakfast person, except on Sundays. Too often I find the American carbo breakfast to be an anchor I have to pull through the morning. This Mexican fare is just the opposite: fiery and inspiring.

This lovely recipe is from a Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication, Mexican. This annual publication was available this spring but was to be pulled by April 1. Lucky me. I found my copy upstate and you might be able to scour about and find one too. This issue is 120 pages of ideas that begin with breakfast but last thru the day.

Oh, on the side? That Suzen’s pepper bread with cream cheese and raspberry jalapeno jam. Unabated flavor.

Huevos Oaxaqueños

Yield: 4 servings


  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 small fresh Anaheim chili pepper, stemmed, seed, and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory or cilantro, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Fresh cilantro springs, optional
  • Corn tortillas, warmed, optional



In a skillet cook the onion, chili pepper, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, dried savory or cilantro and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes release their liquid and the zucchini is tender

Break one of the eggs into a measuring cup. Carefully slide the egg into the tomato mixture in the skillet. Repeat with the remaining three eggs. , allowing each egg an equal amount of space in the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the egg whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Sprinkle with queso fresco.

If desired, serve with fresh cilantro sprigs and warm corn tortillas.

Spoon sauce over game hens and surround with remaining wild rice.


Source: Mexican from Better Homes and Gardens

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55MM lens, F/3.5 for 1/30th second at ISO 320.